Life is adventure made exciting by the captivating places and experiences we discover along the journey. As a travel writer, I have seen and done some cool things, like exploring the Spanish coastline off the cuff, cycling (and sipping) through the Sonoma wine country and playing golf in the jungle of Vietnam. This fall, my wanderlust takes me to the urban energy of San Francisco, where I will be experiencing a few adventures on my SF travel bucket list.I’m all packed and ready to roam.
So if you are heading my way, here are my top five picks for an unforgettable Bay Area expedition.
- Run Across the Golden Gate Bridge
It is exhilarating to walk, run and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge – one of the architectural wonders of the modern world. Spanning 3 miles from San Francisco to Marin, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge has two free pedestrian sidewalks where you can run or peddle under the orange towers and enjoy spectacular views of the Bay Area. Feel the wind in your hair as you cruise over the Bay and breathe in the magical vistas. On both ends of the bride, you’ll find beautiful trails and lookouts at the Golden Gate National Parks. Shutter bugs will find postcard views of the bridge from the south side at Fort Point and Baker Beach (clothing optional!)
- Tour San Francisco On The Cable Cars
Retro and budget-friendly, the historic San Francisco Cable Cars are a cool way to explore the city’s eclectic neighborhoods, including Nob Hill, Union Square, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf. For $5 or $13 for a full day pass, you can enjoy a roller coaster ride and a nostalgic tour of the city’s hills and districts. For the ultimate sightseeing with killer views, grab the special poles and stand on the outside of the cars as they roll through the city.
- Get Inspired at the SF Museum of Modern Art
The second largest museum of modern and contemporary art in the country, San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art offers an amazing collection of over 29,000 paintings, sculpture, photographs, architecture, works on paper and media arts. Art lovers will be inspired by the works of iconic artists such as Pablo Picasso, René Magritte, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Mark Rothko, and Frida Khalo. Discover amazing photographs by Ansel Adams and cool pop and conceptual art by Roy Lichtenstein in the Fisher Collection. While this magnificent museum is under a major expansion, exhibits may be seen at the Asian Art Museum and several venues around town. Get in for half price on Thursday nights between 6 – 8:45 pm.
- Cheer On The San Francisco 49ers
If you love watching football in an open-air stadium, then cheering on the San Francisco 49ers is your ticket to grid-iron bliss. You can catch Kaepernick and 49ers at their brand new home, Levi’s® Stadium, opened in August 2014. Hailed as one of the world’s ultimate outdoor sports and entertainment destinations, the new stadium in Santa Clara is the next generation of green design with three solar bridges, as well as an art collection and fan museum.
- Eat Dim Sum in Chinatown
With its colorful alleys, historic buildings and authentic Chinese bakeries and restaurants, Chinatown is a cultural and culinary kaleidoscope. If you want to experience Dim Sum in Chinatown, check out local sum houses including Good Mong Kok Bakery, Dol Ho, Great Eastern Restaurant, Hang Ah Tea Room and Wing Sing Dim Sum. Dig into BBQ pork buns and shrimp dumplings on a Sunday afternoon, then go amble wander the historic streets and herbal shops at the oldest Chinatown in the country. If you visit in early September, check out the Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival, when Grant Avenue is transformed into an Asian street carnival with arts and crafts, food vendors and entertainment.